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As I was setting up for a shoot in my studio the other day I suddenly missed something….. Uh-oh! Do you ever do that? Sometimes something can be gone, for even a long time, but once you know it’s missing you kind of go all frantic looking for it? That’s what happened.

The thing that was missing was my reflector! Now, to be honest, I have a love/hate relationship with this reflector. It can be a bit of a hassle and sometimes difficult to impossible to manage. Especially if I don’t have an extra set of hands helping me. And in the spring when the wind is blowing like a gale out here, I might as well forget using it, because then it becomes a sail. I don’t want my clients or their relatives to go flying away as they try to wrangle the reflector. 😉

But on this particular day I realized just what a ‘crutch’ my reflector has become for me. Now I know it’s a tool, and tools are there to be useful. However, I don’t want to rely too heavily on ANY one tool in my “kit.” Of course the camera is a must, but it’s my goal to make everything else basically a bonus.

So since I couldn’t find my reflector, I tried to get creative. I really did NEED some fill light for my set-up, but I didn’t want to resort to strobes as it would totally kill the effect I was going for. The first thing I attempted was to “create” a replacement reflector with aluminum foil. You know, I think it could have worked if I had a large enough frame to wrap it around. As it was, it was simply not being effective at all and moreover was getting in my way badly. So I scrapped that idea.

Next I attempted to adjust the entire set up to get more straight on light. Oh my! That was a disaster! My studio space is a little on the cramped side, and while I can move some things around if I need to, on this particular set I really needed space between the backdrops and the subjects. SO… that didn’t work either.

Now I was getting desperate. I had located my reflector, fortunately! It was a the house of a family I had done a shoot for 2 days earlier, whew! At least I knew where it was, but since that drive was an hour away, there was no possibility of me getting that tool back by the time I needed it. I wasn’t feeling so swell about all of this and vowed to duct tape all of my gear to my person in the future. 😉 Funny thing was, I never even had a chance to use it on that shoot since the very active children in that family kept me hoppin’.

What to do, what to do. Know what I did. Ha! Seems so simple now that it’s all over. It was a “duh” moment for me for sure! I just added more light. Yeah, that’s all. I brought in a steady light source and diffused it with an umbrella. Worked like a charm, and I love the effect the light gave on those particular shots. Seriously!

Now I have my sweet lil’ reflector back, and while I wanted to give it a huge hug out of relief to have it home, I know that I can do what I need to even if I don’t have my favorite tools to help me out! Lesson learned. 😉 And here’s a little throw back to my days of Freshman Speech, “The effective PHOTOGRAPHER analyses and adjusts to every photography situation.” I need to remember that!